Monthly Archives: July 2012

PPB Preview: East Coast To Feel The Expo Experience

In a column in next month’s PPB, which is shared in this blog post, I review PPAI and SAAGNY’s decision to create Expo East, a strategic alliance that expands our reach and delivers The PPAI Expo experience to the eastern U.S.

Readers can learn more in the August issue of PPB Magazine.

East Coast To Feel The Expo Experience

Since January 2011, PPAI distributor membership has grown by 57 percent to more than 7,763 members—47 percent of which are located east of the Mississippi. Would you have guessed that while The PPAI Expo is one of the 50 largest tradeshows in the entire United States (in all industries), it still only draws about half of PPAI’s membership and a smaller percentage of total industry distributor companies and professionals?

As surprising as these statistics might sound to you, they’re facts we research, study and act upon every day at PPAI. The PPAI Expositions team works tirelessly to improve and enhance The PPAI Expo, making it the industry’s most successful, valuable and well-attended event and making “The Expo Experience” the benchmark for what you have come to expect

In a joint statement at PROMOTIONS EAST on June 6, PPAI and the Specialty Advertising Association of Greater New York (SAAGNY) announced the creation of Expo East, a strategic alliance that expands our reach and delivers The PPAI Expo experience to the eastern U.S.

Through this strategic alliance with SAAGNY, PPAI will bring its vision, growth management and production expertise to the robust eastern marketplace.

If you’ve been following this column or have had the opportunity to attend a regional Town Hall meeting, you already know that the PPAI Board of Directors and staff are laser-focused on reaching out to members to better understand their needs and how the Association can better serve the marketplace. We quickly learned that not only were thousands of East Coast distributors not being served by The PPAI Expo or PROMOTIONS EAST but they also were not attending or participating in the education or business-building opportunities provided by any other tradeshows in the area.

Being aware of the abundance of shows already in the industry—and the already strained time and financial resources of our industry’s suppliers—it was determined that an alliance between PPAI and SAAGNY to form one show, as opposed to the creation of a new event, was the best way to impact the market in a positive way. Expo East will enable PPAI to reach thousands of members and industry professionals who were not attending PROMOTIONS EAST, The PPAI Expo or other major tradeshows.

In addition to helping both SAAGNY and PPAI reach, serve and educate current members and member-prospects in a first-class tradeshow environment, the strategic alliance allows SAAGNY to focus on providing enhanced member benefits and gaining new members. It allows PPAI to bring its expertise in producing The PPAI Expo to a new area and a new audience.

Alan Baker, MAS, SAAGNY board president and a driver in the building of the alliance, agrees. “By forming this strategic alliance with PPAI and letting them bring their tradeshow expertise to the East Coast, it allows SAAGNY to focus on its members and the growth of the association. We are excited about focusing our staff and volunteers’ time on developing more valuable programs and services to better serve our membership.”

As I mentioned during the Expo East news conference, members join associations to collectively solve problems and address issues in ways they cannot successfully accomplish on their own. Similarly, the strategic alliance between PPAI and SAAGNY recognizes that both organizations could collectively address issues more successfully than each association on its own.

PPAI has an obligation to serve the industry and our members at every level, large and small—wherever they are—in every geographic area. I am confident that Expo East and our strengthened relationship with SAAGNY will give us a substantial footprint in the eastern U.S. from which to serve our industry and our members like never before.

I think Steven Meyer, MAS, PPAI chair of the board, summed it up best when he said: “Launching Expo East, slated to open May 19-21, 2013, is consistent with PPAI’s desire to be more inclusive with its members. We realized that there is a fairly high percentage of our membership located in the eastern U.S. not attending The PPAI Expo in Las Vegas. Therefore, they were missing out on the opportunity to experience all the great products, networking and education offered at Expo. Expo East will bring that experience to them.”

For more information on Expo East, visit

Save The Date To Make An Impact

Save The Date To Make An Impact

If you’ve attended regional town halls or industry events lately, kept up with this blog or my other communication outlets, you may already be very familiar with my personal commitment to strengthening the industry’s Viability, Visibility, Credibility and Community.

The most concentrated effort to these ends—particularly the viability and visibility of our industry—happens every year at PPAI’s Legislative Education and Action Day (L.E.A.D.).

Each spring, industry professionals from across the country deliver the promotional products industry’s message to Capitol Hill. We tell the story of the industry—the power of promotional products, the strength of the industry and the creativity of you, the promotional products professional.

At L.E.A.D. 2012, 60 industry professionals traveled to Washington, D.C. and participated in more than 200 meetings with key members of Congress and their staffs. We discussed the nature of the industry, the power of promotional products and the impact of legislation on how you do business, but something more important took place. We built relationships that matter, relationships that have an impact. After meeting with him on the Hill, Rep. Michael Burgess recognizes me at home. Rep. Tim Murphy’s staff now calls Pennsylvania George Jackson when legislation looks like it could impact our industry. The relationships we build on the Hill have an impact at home.

On April 10-11, 2013, we’ll deepen the relationships built this year and foster new ones with experienced advocates and new ones.

Save the date to join us at PPAI L.E.A.D. 2013. Advocate training and meetings with members of Congress will start in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday, April 10 and continue through Thursday, April 11. The online application for participation will open in September.

Increasing budget and government scrutiny of our industry highlights the considerable work to be done in strengthening and sustaining our viability and visibility. In these areas, PPAI’s L.E.A.D. does the heavy lifting. I hope you’ll plan on joining us to make an impact.

PPAI brand. Welcomes The Motivation Show To Las Vegas in 2014

As July continues to race by, I am pleased to share yet another significant development with you. Today, the Incentive Marketing Association (IMA) announced they will produce a new annual event, The Motivation Show Las Vegas, in cooperation with PPAI’s brand.

For those of you who are keeping count, this represents the third tradeshow affiliation PPAI has announced in the past six weeks and is part of our strategy to deliver access and exposure to new markets in new ways while delivering greater value to our members.

By combining PPAI’s brand. and The Motivation Show Las Vegas in one location, we have achieved another goal in fully realizing our vision to significantly enhance the brand. experience.

On January 15-17, 2014, the IMA will produce The Motivation Show Las Vegas in cooperation with PPAI’s brand at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas. The Motivation Show Las Vegas, which is sponsored by the IMA, will feature an exhibit hall and conference program open to all buyers and resellers of incentive and recognition products and services featuring a showcase of leading brand-name merchandize, gift card and experiential reward suppliers.

The Motivation Show Las Vegas and brand., while open to all incentive buyers and resellers, will be co-located in a standalone pavilion adjacent to but separate from The PPAI Expo. The PPAI Expo will continue to offer access to verified, qualified, registered industry distributors only.

In 2013, the IMA will begin the transition by co-locating the Motivation Show Education Program with PPAI brand. Incentive buyers and resellers will only be invited to the Motivation Show Education Program and brand. by the Motivation Show team and will register for the Motivation Show Education Program directly through the Motivation Show registration system. Again, The PPAI Expo will continue to offer access to verified, qualified, registered industry distributors only.

For information about attending or exhibiting at brand. or The Motivation Show Las Vegas, visit

SAGE Announces SAGE Show Will Replace The MAPPS Show In February 2013

I’m pleased to let you know that today SAGE announced the SAGE Show and Education Day. The SAGE Show will be held February 26-28, 2013, at the Fort Worth Convention Center in Fort Worth, Texas, and will replace the MAPPS Show beginning in 2013.

The SAGE Show will expand its reach to serve the entire central U.S. with a new location, a new date, a full day of professional education, new networking events and parties, a hosted client day and an expanded partnership with PPAI.

Building on the strength of our successful “Power of Two” Alliance, PPAI has aligned with SAGE to market, sell and grow the SAGE Show and produce the SAGE Education Day. The expanded relationship is an integral part of PPAI’s long-term strategy to better serve the promotional products industry through a streamlined exposition schedule with locations geographically targeted to meet the needs of all members.

Over the last 17 months, PPAI has grown by 38 percent to more than 10,600 members, 33 percent of which are based in the central United States. With this type of growth, PPAI is working hard to fulfill its goal of serving the industry and its members at every level, large and small – wherever they are – in every geographic area. The SAGE Show will establish a strong foothold in the region and an exhibition from which to serve the industry like never before.

With our recent launch of Expo East in Atlantic City and this expanded relationship with SAGE, we are creating a simple, convenient and powerful opportunity for suppliers and distributors to grow their business in the first half of the year. Clearly, the expanded Power of Two relationship with SAGE makes sense for PPAI and the industry, but I am especially pleased that we were able to create these member-focused opportunities without adding another tradeshow to an already overcrowded calendar.

The three-day SAGE Show will include two full show days, a hosted client day – providing promotional consultants the opportunity work with and educate their invited customers in a controlled, professional environment – a full day of professional education, a top-notch keynote speaker, a networking reception, a first-rate party, and much more.

More information about SAGE and the SAGE Show may be found here.